DK Barrel

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"Kong Barrel" redirects here. For information about a type of barrel from Donkey Kong 64, see Cranky's Kong Barrel.
DK Barrel
A DK Barrel
First appearance Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Latest appearance Mario Kart Tour (Jungle Tour, badge cameo) (2020)
“A monkey and a barrel--it fits together like radical sprays and supreme surf sprays!”
Funky Kong, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

DK Barrels,[1] alternatively spelled DK barrels[2] and also named Buddy Barrels[3][4] or Kong Barrels,[5] are a type of Barrel that appear in almost every level of the Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land series. They are identifiable from the red and yellow "DK" letters on its side. If the two Kongs are together and the lead one is hit by an enemy or an obstacle, that Kong runs away; the player takes control of the other Kong. When a Kong finds a DK Barrel, they can pick it up and throw it to reunite with the other Kong.


Donkey Kong Country / Donkey Kong Land trilogy[edit]

A DK Barrel next to a "2" number in the Game Boy Color remake of Donkey Kong Country

If a DK Barrel is on the ground, it can be picked up and thrown like a normal Barrel, although like Vine Barrels, DK Barrels break upon impact with the ground. As such, most enemies can be defeated when a DK Barrel is thrown at them. If a Kong is without their partner and they touch a DK Barrel that is either in mid-air or underwater, the DK Barrel breaks open and releases the other Kong. In the first three Donkey Kong Country games, after a Kong is released from a DK Barrel, they follow behind the Kong in front.

In the backstory for Donkey Kong Country, Diddy was ambushed by Kremlings while he was guarding the banana hoard. He is sealed into a DK Barrel and thrown into the jungle. The first DK Barrel of Jungle Hijinxs is presumably the one that Diddy was trapped into due to it being the closest DK Barrel to the banana hoard.

Most DK Barrels in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! are found in mid-air, so they cannot be picked up. If both Kongs are in play, they pass through both mid-air and underwater DK Barrels. In Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III, all DK Barrels are found in mid-air. In the former game are DK Barrels found in treasure chests which can be picked up like normal Barrels.

Certain cheat codes in the sequels can affect the availability of DK Barrels. In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, from the mode selection menu, the player can highlight the hidden Cheat Mode and enter a combination of buttons to remove every DK Barrel: B Button,A Button,+Control Pad right,+Control Pad right,A Button,L Button,A Button,X Button; in that game's Game Boy Advance remake, the WELLARD cheat removes all DK Barrels, and the ROCKARD cheat removes all DK Barrels and Star Barrels. In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, the HARDR cheat only removes some of the DK Barrels, and the TUSFT cheat removes all DK Barrels (if used on a new save file) and Star Barrels; in the Game Boy Advance version, the TUFFER cheat removes all DK Barrels and Star Barrels on a new game save file. In all applicable games, if DK Barrels are disabled, every level automatically starts with both Kongs.

DK: Jungle Climber[edit]

DK Barrels also appear in DK: Jungle Climber, with the same role as in the first Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land games.

Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D[edit]

DK Barrels return in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D where they have the same functions as before. In this game, they are always found on the ground and can be thrown, which is the only way to break them. If Diddy is already present when a DK Barrel is tossed, the barrel instead restores Donkey Kong's health if it is not full.

In the multiplayer mode, if a player has been killed, then they can spend an Extra Life Balloon to float back into the level inside a DK Barrel. Alternatively, the remaining player can revive them by finding a barrel that is already in the level. DK Barrels also appear in Mirror Mode, but since Diddy Kong cannot be used in this mode, the barrels are empty, even though they can still be used as a projectile weapon.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

DK Barrels return in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and its Nintendo Switch port, functioning just like they did in Donkey Kong Country Returns. With the addition of Dixie Kong and Cranky Kong, the barrels come in four new variations — a Diddy Kong Barrel marked with a blue "DD" instead of the usual red "DK", a Dixie Kong Barrel marked with a pink "DX", a Cranky Kong Barrel with a yellow "CK", and another one which contains all three spinning in a roulette-like manner. The former three rarely appear in levels, but can be purchased at Funky's Fly 'n' Buy, while the latter barrel is far more common. With it, Donkey Kong is able to choose his partner, by picking it up at the moment the desired Kong's insignia appears (or by corkscrewing into it, if it is underwater). Alternatively, he can ground pound in front of it in order to temporarily stop it in place.

Normal DK Barrels only appear during co-op and Hard Mode, in the latter case since Donkey Kong only has one heart and is not assisted by the other Kongs. However, he can still use the DK Barrel as a weapon. In multiplayer mode, the second player can choose which of the partner Kongs to play as (Diddy, Dixie, or Cranky).

In the Nintendo Switch port, a fifth variety of a DK Barrel appears due to Funky Kong's inclusion as a playable character. Funky Kong's barrel is marked with a purple "FK".

Appearances in Mario titles[edit]

In Mario Party 8, when a character steps on a DK Space (or reaches a cannon in DK's Treetop Temple), Donkey Kong will appear before them by bursting out of a DK Barrel.

In Mario Kart 7, DK Barrels appear on the jungle section of DK Jungle, where they are located on the sides of the track. They contain Bananas and Stars that are revealed by destroying the barrels with Green Shells, or by colliding with them at a high speed.

A DK Barrel appears in Donkey Kong's Double Bogey animation in Mario Golf: World Tour and Mario Sports Superstars.

With the return of DK Jungle in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, DK Barrels also come back in the jungle section of the course.

A DK Barrel appears as a Donkey Kong's Skill Effect in Dr. Mario World.

Appearances in other titles[edit]

In the Super Smash Bros. series, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong enter stages by bursting out of DK Barrels. One also appears as a Sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.

One of the collectables Kirby can find in Kirby Super Star's "The Great Cave Offensive" mode is the "Kong's Barrel." It returns in the remake, Kirby Super Star Ultra. It is found in a room guarded by two Gordos in the Garden Area. The Kong's Barrel is worth 1,500 Gold.

A DK Barrel is a token piece that can be used in Nintendo Monopoly.

DK Barrels can be found floating in the ocean during the level Do U Stack Up? in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.


Donkey Kong Country[edit]

  • Game Boy Advance manual bio: "Break one of these to keep the other Kong ready and waiting. He'll take over when your current Kong takes a hit, or you can press the L Button to swap them at any time."
  • Wii U Virtual Console manual bio: "If you are alone, break this barrel to release the friend inside."

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest[edit]

  • Game Boy Advance manual bio: "Here's where you'll find your partner if he or she isn't already by your side. If both characters are already in play, you won't be able to break this Barrel when it's in mid-air."
  • Wii U Virtual Console manual bio: "If either Diddy or Dixie is missing, you can find him or her in this barrel."

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble![edit]

  • Game Boy Advance manual bio: "Here's where you'll find your partner if they're not already with you. If you already have both Kongs, you won't be able to break the DK Barrels that float in mid-air."

Super Smash Bros. Brawl sticker[edit]

Image Game Effect
A sticker of DK Barrel Donkey Kong Country Launch Power +53

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U trophy[edit]

Name 3DS Image Wii U Image Appears in
(Wii U version only)
American English Description British English Description
DK Barrel DK Barrel Trophy.png DK Barrel trophy from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U SNES Donkey Kong Country (11/1994)
Wii Donkey Kong Country Returns (11/2010)
Little known fact: the "DK" on a DK Barrel stands for "Donkey Kong"... What? You mean you already knew that? In that case, you must also know that hopeful feeling you get upon seeing one of these in a really tough stage. Break one to release a helpful partner! Did you know that the "DK" on a DK Barrel stands for "Donkey Kong"?... You did? Well then, maybe you also know what a beautiful and hopeful feeling it is to see one of these when you're toughing it out alone, all sad and forlorn. Break it and a partner will show up to lift you out of your doldrums and help you on your way.





Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese DKバレル
DK Bareru
Didī Bareru
Dikushī Bareru
Kurankī Bareru
DK Barrel

Diddy Barrel

Dixie Barrel

Cranky Barrel
German DK-Fass DK Barrel
Italian Barile DK DK Barrel
Spanish Barril DK DK Barrel


  1. ^ Donkey Kong Country instruction booklet, page 17.
  2. ^ Nintendo Official Magazine (UK) issue 54, page 46, 52.
  3. ^ Donkey Kong Land instruction booklet page 10.
  4. ^ Donkey Kong Country Game Boy Color instruction booklet, page 11.
  5. ^ Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze instruction manual (PDF). Section 16